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13. Possibility of Satisfaction

1. Absolutely speaking, man cannot make to God satisfaction forsin. Sin offends an infinite God, and has, therefore, something ofinfinity about itself. Man is finite; he can in no wise, ofhimself, renderinfinite satisfaction. Still, man should dowhat he can in the way of satisfaction for sin; justiceand penance (the virtue) demand as much. If a man cannot makeequivalent satisfaction, he may be able to makesufficient satisfaction.

2. One man can make satisfaction for another, as is manifestfrom the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. But in so far assatisfaction is remedial, and is meant for the cure of theperson performing it, it cannot be rendered by anyone but thatperson. Similarly, a man fined by a judge may have his fine paid bya friend. But if the judge imposes a personal penalty to teach theoffender a lesson, no friend can step up and pay this penalty. Oneperson cannot discharge the obligation of penance imposed onanother by a confessor, unless the confessor says so.

"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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